AN undefeated century by Chris Dougherty ensured CIYMS remain very much in the mix to defend their Premier League title when their inter-provincial stars return next month.

Despite missing four players on duty in Bready, CI ended Carrickfergus’ unbeaten start to the league campaign with an emphatic eight wickets success at Belmont, Dougherty finishing 126 not out.

James Cameron-Dow was promoted to No 3 and played a huge part in the successful chase, scoring 71 in a partnership of 175 to break the back of Carrick’s total of 235 and although JCD was dismissed in the 39th over, Jason van der Merwe was at the other end when Dougherty brought up his century off 109 balls and at the finish, when the opener had hit 14 fours and two sixes.

To be fair to Carrickfergus, they were also missing two of best players in Jeremy Lawlor and Graham McCarter, while Bradley Roberts, their top scorer last week, was also unavailable.

Like CI, the visitors lost a wicket to the second ball of the innings but acting captain Ian Parkhill and Jacques Snyman added 115 for the second wicket, dominated by the South African professional who hit 71 off 56 balls in his usual classic style, hitting nine four and three sixes.

Carson McCullough claimed the huge scalp and then took the last two wickets with successive balls in the final over to continue his impressive form. Chris Robinson followed up his six-wicket haul against Lisburn last week with three more and Cameron-Dow started his good day, also with three wickets.

With Carrick’s defeat, it is now a five-way tie at the top with the day’s other winners, Waringstown, North Down and Civil Service North all moving onto eight points.

Waringstown bounced back from their heavy defeat by North Down last week to post the highest total of the day, 322 for seven in which professional Andre Malan was run out for 99.

He had shared a fourth wicket stand of 132 with Greg Thompson who hit 76 off just 43 balls, including 12 fours and two sixes, while Malan was content with 11 fours when he was sixth out in the 46th over.

He was upstaged, however, by former Ireland captain Kyle McCallan who knew too much for the Woodvale batting to take six wickets for 22, including his long-time former team-mate James Hall for 33.

It looked as if Hall would be the visitors’ top scorer but a last wicket stand of 61 between Sonny Stephenson and Pavan Kartick held up the formality of a Waringstown victory, with Stephenson last man out for 44.

North Down made it back to back to wins with a six wickets success against Instonians who included three members of the winning Schools Cup final side.

It was a former Methodist College schoolboy, however, who top scored for the visitors with an unbeaten 65 but he received minimal support, only two other players reaching double figures as Instonians were bowled out in the 37th over for 124, opening bowler Tom Mayes finishing with impressive analysis of four for 17.

It wasn’t the most convincing chase by North Down with captain Alistair Shields top scoring with 27 but they still won the game in the 33rd over.

Civil Service North were set an identical target at Wallace Park after dismissing Lisburn in 41 overs but they lost only wicket as Luke Georgeson made a surprise appearance for the visitors.

Georgeson, who is returning to New Zealand in the winter, with aspirations to break into the New Zealand side, was released by Northern Knights for yesterday’s club game and he spent 31 overs in the middle scoring 79 not out.

He shared an unbeaten stand of 118 with the in-form Paddy Beverland as CSN, for the second successive week, made light of the absence of their other three inter-provincial players.

Another player who has opted out of the of the T20 inter-provincials this season, international Stuart Thompson, took five wickets for CSN, including Lisburn’s top scorer Chris Burns for 34.